Interview- DJ Neil Armstrong pt 1
Around 2004, I was out shopping with some friends on Melrose. I went into one spot with the homies and they were playing music over the speakers. They were songs I knew because people had sampled them. But then I heard a DJ scratching. I asked the guy at the counter “Is this one of those joints where they play the original samples and stuff?” He said yeah. I had heard those kinds of tapes before, so I wasn’t about to get too geeked about it. But the samples that were being dropped were gems. Stuff that was hard to find. And the way they were blended in was seamless.
I asked the guy at the counter “Who is this?”
“DJ Neil Armstrong he said.”
He gave me two CDs. One called Original, and the other called 2Original. I read the back and saw what jams he had on there. Once I heard the sample for 93 til Infinity come on the speakers, I was like OK let me go ahead and get this…
Once I got home and played it in my room I was floored. I was amazed at what songs actually had samples and interpolations of other songs. For example, the chorus to Method Man on 36 Chambers is an interpolation of a Hall & Oates track. My roommate came in my room like “What is this!?” See, it was around this time I was really becoming dissatisfied with the state of Hip Hop. It was boring me. But once I put 2Original in my player one day, it was a reawakening.
Soon after that I hunted down all his mixtapes. I remember I played one of them for just a few minutes, then I stopped it and said to myself “I gotta play this around the homies for them to hear it.” It was like an event just to hear what songs he was going to blend together, what themes he was going to choose, and so on. Soon I found out he became the tour DJ for Jay-Z. There couldn’t be a cat more deserving of gettin that shine.
Fast forward some years later. Once I got started on Twitter and interviewing folks I found him. Got his info. Set up an interview while he was in Cali. And the rest is history. This interview actually happened a long time ago. It’s been sitting in the archives while Ive been waiting for the right time to drop it.
Part 1: Destiny
– The whole story
– How music found him
Be sure to follow him on Twitter – @DJNeilArmstrong
His Website: http://www.djneilarmstrong.com
His Podcast: http://www.neilarmstrongpodcast.com/